Updated: May 2, 2015 12:00:55 am
A physically handicapped and nine-months pregnant woman and her husband were caught peddling mephedrone at Dockyard Road on Thursday.
The police have kept the woman, Salma Shaikh (25), under constant observation and made medical arrangements as she is expected to go into labour any day.
Salma and her husband Mohammad Suleman Abdul Khalid Shaikh (35) were held at Kaklij Chowk in Dockyard Road at 1.30 pm on Thursday after the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch received information that the duo would be peddling mephedrone there. The police said that 30gm of mephedrone was found with Salma and another 35 with her husband, taking the value of the contraband to Rs 1.30 lakh. The couple has been remanded to police custody till May 10, the police said.
Salma, the police said, has been arrested on four separate occasions in the past. “In the past three years, she has been held by the Wadala Truck Terminal police station, the Sewri police and the Worli and Azad Maidan units of the ANC while peddling cannabis. She had recently taken to peddling mephedrone as it is more lucrative,” said Suhas Gokhale, senior inspector, Azad Maidan unit, ANC.
Salma was hit by polio as a child, which affected her left leg. “She is known as ‘Langdi Salma’ and was easy to identify because of the way she walks. In the past two years or so, she had become quite notorious,” Gokhale said.
The police said that Salma is Shaikh’s third wife, and the duo had previously been caught twice. In the past few months, they operated from their shanty in Ekta Nagar in Dockyard Road, adulterating high-grade mephedrone with Ajinomoto, a crystalised food additive linked with heart problems, sterility in women and headaches, the police said. “Shaikh initially denied any role in the crime. He said that he would be out of home all day and did not know what his wife did while he was away. But Salma told us that Shaikh would occasionally also transport mephedrone in his taxi,” Gokhale said.
A woman constable has been deputed to keep a watch on Salma round the clock. “When she goes into labour we will immediately take her a hospital. But we will forward a detention application to get her custody after she delivers a child. We want to question her further,” he said.
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